159 episodes

Simon Mayo and Matt Williams invite the world's finest authors in for a chat.
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Simon Mayo's Books Of The Year Ora Et Labora

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 49 Ratings

Simon Mayo and Matt Williams invite the world's finest authors in for a chat.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Q&A with Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney-Boylan

    Q&A with Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney-Boylan

    Join Simon and Matt, and the two bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney-Boylan, for a quick fire Q&A!
    We also have a guest question from the novelist Joanne Harris.
    You can hear more about Jenny and Jodi's new novel, "Mad Honey", on our previous episode where we discuss it at length...
    About the book:
    Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father's beekeeping business.
    Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.
    And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely . . .
    Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
    Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

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    • 11 min
    Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan: Mad Honey

    Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan: Mad Honey

    Bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan join Simon and Matt to discuss their brilliant new novel Mad Honey. 
     
    Told from alternative narratives, the book is a suspenseful, unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become our authentic selves.
     
    The authors talk about the highs and lows of their collaboration, and why they think this book is going to be banned in some US States. 

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    • 39 min
    Q&A with Marina Hyde

    Q&A with Marina Hyde

    Columnist and writer Marina Hyde answers some in-depth questions from Simon and Matt - as well as from listeners, and a surprise guest!
    No other writer is more suited to chronicling the absurd times in which we live. In What Just Happened?! Marina Hyde slashes her way through the hellscape of post-referendum politics, where the chaos never stops.
    From David Cameron to Theresa May to Boris Johnson. Marvel at the sights, from Trumpian WTF-ery to celebrity twattery. And boggle at the cast of characters: Hollywood sex offenders, populists, sporting heroes (and villains), dastardly dukes, media barons, movie stars, reality TV monsters, billionaires, police officers, various princes and princesses, wicked advisers, philanthropists, fauxlanthropists, telly chefs, and (naturally) Gwyneth Paltrow.
    It's the full state banquet of crazy - and you're most cordially invited.
    The book is drawn from her spectacularly funny Guardian columns, and is a welcome blast of humour and sanity in a world where reality has become stranger than fiction.



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    • 17 min
    Marina Hyde: What Just Happened?

    Marina Hyde: What Just Happened?

    Columnist and writer Marina Hyde joins Simon Mayo and Matt Williams to talk about the news, politics, her columns and...what the hell is going to happen next!?
    We're all trying to keep up with the news at the moment and it seems that every day, there's another crisis, resignation or flummoxed MP trying to change the narrative. In her latest book, Marina tries to make some sense of these turbulent times, whilst offering us some humour and valuable insight along the way.
    On this episode of Books Of The Year, she talks about the ever changing news cycle, how she keeps sane and the things she would never write about.

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    • 32 min
    Q&A with Anthony Horowitz

    Q&A with Anthony Horowitz

    The last book you really, really enjoyed?
    Which idea in a book do you wish you’d come up with? 
    Do you work best with deadlines?
    Which books stand out from your childhood?
    Short chapters v long chapters. Discuss!
    Favourite TV or film adaptation of a book?
    How many books do you read a month?
    If you could go back to university, what would you study?

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    • 10 min
    Anthony Horowitz: The Twist Of A Knife

    Anthony Horowitz: The Twist Of A Knife

    Making his 3rd appearance on the pod, best selling author Anthony Horowitz chats about his latest novel. With occasional sound effects from his builders.
    Anthony has written two highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk and Moriarty; three James Bond novels, Trigger Mortis, Forever and a Day and With a Mind to Kill; the acclaimed bestselling mystery novels Magpie Murders and Moonflower Murders and the Detective Hawthorne novels, The Word is Murder, The Sentence is Death, A Line To Kill, and the latest A Twist of Knife is out now - in which he stars as himself.
    His new play, a thriller called 'Mindgame', is about to open at the famous Vaudeville theatre in Shoreditch. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne declines a ticket to the opening night.
    The play is not enjoyed by the critics. In particular, Sunday Times critic Harriet Throsby gives it a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next day, Throsby is stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which, it turns out, belongs to Anthony, and which has his fingerprints all over it.
    Anthony is arrested by an old enemy . . . Detective Inspector Cara Grunshaw. She's still smarting from her failure to solve the case described in the second Hawthorne adventure: "The Sentence is Death". She blames Anthony for her failure. And now she's out for revenge.
    Thrown into prison and brutally interrogated, Anthony is the prime suspect in Throsby's murder and as a second theatre critic is found to have died in mysterious circumstances, the net closes in. Ever more desperate, he realizes that only one man can help him.
    But will Hawthorne take the call? 

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    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
49 Ratings

49 Ratings

csi mel ,

Books of the Year

I adore this podcast! I have listened to Simon and Matt talk about books since their Radio 2 days, and they keep getting more interesting. Simon is also a wonderful writer, and I enjoyed his latest novel, Knife’s Edge. Keep up the good work, gentlemen!

AlistairCandlin ,

Just what I’ve been looking for

Thumbs up from a new listener. Just listened to the Alastair Campbell interview and am half way through the q&a episode that follows.

It’s great - light hearted, funny, interesting. I downloaded Campbell’s new book on Audible. Looking forward to listening to that and catching up on old episodes of your show.

All the best,

Alistair Candlin, South Korea.

cindyT6k ,

Pod of the year

Come for the insightful chat about books, stay for the comedy. Two of the BBC’s most beloved personalities are also serious about literature. Highly recommended!

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